Exploring Career Paths for High School Graduates Interested in Construction

Helping Your High School Grad Navigate the Choices Ahead

As your recent high school graduate begins their journey of choosing a career path to follow, it’s crucial to consider two main choices: entering the workforce directly or pursuing further education in college.

Each path has its own set of opportunities and challenges. This blog will go over both options and highlight two potential jobs in civil construction for each path, along with the ideal traits for success and initial steps to start these careers.

Entering the Workforce after Graduation

Construction Laborer

Laborers are digging in trenches, flagging in work zones, or using hand tools. This is a great position to begin your construction career in, as it deals with all facets of the worksite.

Ideal Traits:

– Physical fitness

– Strong work ethic

– Willingness to learn on the job

First Steps:

– Explore local job boards

– Apply for entry-level positions

– Consider apprenticeship programs

Career Outlook:

Steady demand for construction laborers is expected, with opportunities for growth as skills and experience are gained.

Equipment Operator 

Equipment operators are responsible for heavy machinery used in road construction, including bulldozers, excavators, loaders, and pavers. They play a crucial role in shaping and maintaining roadways, ensuring the construction process runs smoothly.

Ideal Traits:

– Mechanical aptitude

– Attention to detail

– Ability to follow safety protocols

First Steps:

– Gain basic mechanical knowledge

– Seek entry-level positions

– Consider specialized training programs

Career Outlook:

The demand for skilled equipment operator assistants is rising, offering a promising future in the construction industry.

Pursuing College Education

Civil Engineering Technician

Civil engineers are like the architects of road construction projects. They design roadways, bridges, and infrastructure, ensuring they meet safety standards and are environmentally friendly. Civil engineers also supervise construction activities and solve engineering challenges. 

Ideal Traits:

– Analytical mindset

– Attention to detail

– Proficiency in technology

First Steps:

– Pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering 

– Participate in internships for hands-on experience

– Develop proficiency in AutoCAD and other relevant software

Career Outlook:

A growing demand for civil engineers is anticipated to go up, providing opportunities for those with a solid educational foundation.

Construction Management

Project managers are the guys and girls behind the planning, coordination, and execution of road construction projects. They oversee budgets, timelines, and teams to ensure that projects are completed efficiently and according to specifications. 

Ideal Traits:

– Strong organizational skills

– Leadership abilities

– Excellent communication

First Steps:

– Pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction management

– Gain practical experience through internships

– Build a network within the construction industry

Career Outlook:

Construction management positions offer excellent prospects, especially for those with a combination of education and practical experience.

Helping your high school grad navigate the choices between entering the workforce and pursuing higher education is crucial for their success in the construction industry. 

Whether they choose the hands-on experience of a laborer or the strategic planning of a construction manager, there are diverse paths to a great career in civil construction.